2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Mathematics and Computer Science

The Cutting Edge: Algorithms and Analysis of Efficient Area Coverage in Mowing
Jason L. Novinger
Dr. Jon Beck, Faculty Mentor

Farms seek to reduce operating expenses by optimizing mechanized operations, such as traversing fields. Fields are traversed when plowing, planting, harvesting, and mowing. While some of these need to be completed once per season, mowing needs to be performed many times during the season. We sought to quantify costs by modeling mowing through a graphical simulation of the process. We studied how different movement patterns affect efficiency and costs. Mowing is the model, but the results apply to all field operations. Two results from our work that will be presented: a parametrized, functional model for mowing a rectangular field and a graphical computer simulation. We found that a spiral pattern is more efficient than a rectangular method. The spiral is more efficient primarily due to the decreased number of unproductive turns. The simulation is designed to be made available to farmers to design more efficient traversal patterns for their fields.

Keywords: mowing, spiral, rectangle, pattern, algorithm, coverage, traversal, simulation

Topic(s):Computer Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 5-2
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

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